Last time we saw a next-gen Mercedes-Benz B-Class prototype, it was wearing all sorts of heavy camouflage, trying to mask its free flowing all-new A-Class inspired design language.
Now, we’re witnessing a major camouflage reduction, resulting in a clear view at the new model’s exterior design, which boasts the German automaker’s Sensual Purity aesthetic, just like its new A-Class and CLS siblings.
Still clearly a B-Class
Despite its sleeker (at least compared to the current car) exterior design, the all-new Mercedes B-Class is still easily recognizable as a compact MPV, much like its predecessor. This new set of spy images brings into focus details such as the massive grille, angular headlights and pointy taillights – the latter seemingly resembling those found on the latest A-Class hatchback.
The prototype is also wearing a beefy front spoiler, although that might just be a fake cut-out, as we don’t expect any AMG-powered versions of this car when it’s all said and done.
Say goodbye to that outdated interior
The current B-Class doesn’t exactly feature an ultra-modern cabin. Thankfully, previous spy images reveal a more technologically-advanced interior design for the new car, boasting high-end materials and Mercedes‘ popular dual-screen layout – said to be offered in three different sizes.
Overall, the dashboard seems pretty much identical to that of the latest A-Class, from the positioning of the displays, to the air vents, climate control buttons and MBUX touch pad.
Wide range of petrol and diesel options
As for powertrains, we expect them to be shared with the 2019 A-Class, meaning a wide range of petrol and diesel options, joined later on by an electrified unit.
The rest of the lineup will include the new turbocharged 1.3-liter petrol unit that was jointly developed by Daimler and Renault-Nissan, offered in 115, 140 and 160hp guises. A bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be fitted in the more expensive B 220 and B 250 models, offering 187hp and 221hp respectively.
Diesel-powered models will start with the B 180d, which uses a 1.5-liter unit with 114hp and is likely to be the fuel economy champion in the range, up until a rumored electrified model shows up. The rest of the diesel range will use Daimler’s latest 2.0-liter units. Base models will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission, with the rest of them fitted with a seven-speed automatic.
As with the current A-Class, the new B-Class is expected to feature a rear beam axle in its more affordable versions, with a full independent setup present only on models fitted with the adjustable dampers and/or with the most powerful engine choices.
Mercedes will either debut the all-new B-Class by the end of this year or in early 2019. Our best case scenario would have it show up at the Paris Motor Show this fall.
Article updated with new spy shots and additional reporting